Everybody Eats at Delco’s Vittles Food Hall

A handful of Philadelphia chefs — including Stephanie Willis, Kurt Evans and Aziza Young — took to the streets to feed people during the pandemic. Fifty sandwiches in West Philly turned into a movement to defeat food insecurity, neighborhood by neighborhood. Those activations became the nonprofit Everybody Eats, which is now headquartered along with a bounty of food options at Vittles Food Hall in Chester, which opened in February 2022.

“We’ve been in the building since December 2021, and we’re really finding our footing,” Willis said. “It’s been a journey since those first activations!”

Everybody Eats came together after George Floyd’s murder, when neighborhood stores were decimated, creating food deserts. Willis reached out to her chef friends, and they did what chefs do: They fed people. For free.


Photo by BeauMonde Originals


Instagram posts got the attention of local restaurants stocked with unused inventory, and more donations came in — pantry staples, baby food, pet food, really anything! — to continue to feed people (and their pets!) for free.


Photo by BeauMonde Originals


“Our activations became a way to bring a sense of camaraderie into neighborhoods,” she added. “We created a vibe with a DJ and even had Juneteenth events. The challenge: It was being funded out of pocket, and once restaurants opened again, access became an issue. We fed more than 600 families in June 2020 alone. But, we knew we needed to continue!”

When the Chester location became available, Everybody Eats jumped at the chance to have a home, and to extend the concept to more underserved communities. Willis notes that it’s more than just great food at reasonable prices: It’s also a creative way to offer youth mentorship, career training and volunteer opportunities, including partnering with Chester High School. The team is eager to pair chef mentors with the Careers Through Culinary Arts Program to give them real-world experience. Bonus: Vittles Food Hall is just a block away from the high school.

“We are new to the neighborhood, and the love has been there,” Willis said.


Photo courtesy of Everybody Eats


But first: the food! Willis gave a special nod to Ray Tillery of Ray’s Diner, who opened in January 2020 — and, then was closed down due to the pandemic. Ray’s Diner is back in action inside Vittles, serving breakfast favorites — think pancakes, french toast, chicken and waffles, oatmeal, eggs and bacon — and lunch standbys — open face turkey or roast beef, shrimp and grits, and fish and grits —from  7 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Photo courtesy of Everybody Eats


Vittles Food Hall is currently open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a plan to eventually open seven days a week. At the Everybody Eats counter you’ll find generous portions of pizzas, burgers, cheesesteaks, nachos, soul food, soups and salads. There’s also The Perfect Catch, offering seafood dishes, like wild-caught salmon cheesesteaks, Rich Boy (a po’boy made with extra-large shrimp or whiting), and butterflied and fried shrimp — including combo platters. Willis is proud that everything is fresh, not frozen, and handmade to order.

“Watch for special events, too, like women’s month events, female DJs, paint-and-sip events and partnerships with other nonprofits,” she added.

At this writing, the pandemic seems to be moving to the endemic phase, but the Vittles team is still keeping an eye to protocols. Everything is quick and easy, with contactless options. There are printed menus, but you can scan, tap your card and go. Willis says all staff is fully vaccinated and masking; the food hall is fully sanitized daily. 

“Some guests are coming in with masks,” she added. “We have options: a fast-casual, sit-down spot with distanced tables or take-out. Delivery through third-party apps is coming, too!”


Photo by BeauMonde Originals


Throughout the pandemic and beyond, restaurant works have struggled, and continue to do so. Willis praised US Foods, a foodservice supplier and distributor, for reaching out to the Everybody Eats team to see how they could help. The company sponsored a local 2021 activation for restaurant workers, and then jumped right on-board with an activation to help victims of the 2021 Texas ice storm. In fact, US Food is sponsoring a monthly activation event throughout 2022.

Everybody Eats has found a home in Chester and received a big Delco welcome. It’s clear, though, that its reach extends far beyond its local home. With this mission, it’s unstoppable: “Dedicated to increasing food security and building community, our mission is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger. We value and embrace diversity, fairness and inclusion as fundamental to our vision of empowering communities where no one has to go hungry.We believe that access to healthy food is a basic human right and not a privilege. All people deserve regular, nutritious meals. We are committed to conducting honest dialogue with all community partners. Through this dialogue, we will strive to continuously improve. EVERYBODY EATS!”

Find Vittles Food Hall at 801 Sproul St. in Chester, and stay up-to-date on Instagram and Facebook. See what’s cooking at The Perfect Catch’s Instagram and Facebook, too. And, call Ray’s Diner for pick-up or order ahead eat-in: (484) 480-0958.

Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Contact us at (610) 565-3679, by email, or online.

Nina Malone

Featured photo courtesy of The Perfect Catch at Vittles Food Hall